Pierre Soupart (1923-1981) biographical file
File contains CV, newspaper clippings, articles, press releases, and photographs.
- 1978 - 1982
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Historical or Biographical Note
Dr. Pierre Soupart was born in Morlanwelz in Hainaut, Belgium in 1923. He obtained his M.D. degree in 1949 from the Medical School of the Free University of Brussels. He spent a year of postdoctoral training studying biochemistry with Professor Stanford Moore at the Rockefeller University. In 1951, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at the Medical School of the Free University of Brussels While there, he earned his Ph.D. and in 1959 and worked on the problems of aminoaciduria in pregnancy culminating with the publication of a monograph published by Acta Medica Belgica. In 1962 he came to Vanderbilt and became a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology where he remained until his death on June 10, 1981. At Vanderbilt, his research included the mechanism of sperm capacitation, which led to studies of fertilization. It is in this area that he made his major impact on the field of reproductive biology, and attained a measure of notoriety. In 1972, working at the Tripler General Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, in collaboration with Dr. Larry Morgenstern, Dr. Soupart was the first to provide compelling evidence that human eggs could be fertilized in vitro. However, because of a moratorium imposed by the federal government on research on the human embryo, he was embroiled in a controversy over a grant application he made to the National Institutes of Health in 1973 for money to study the risks involved in fertilizing human egg cells outside the body. Never receiving funding, he was unable to continue his pioneering studies.
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- Pierre Soupart (1923-1981) biographical file
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